Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 16th to 23rd, 1962.

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Free Press Herald May 16, 1962. 

A $34,000 jump in the 1962 budget combined with a seven and a half mill increase was authorized by Penetanguishene council Monday night Officials say only the increase of almost $1,800,000 in assessment prevented the mill rate from skyrocketing higher. Based on the new assessment, the increase works out to about 7.5 mills. Figured on the 1961 assessment it would require an additional 13 mills to cover the increased levy. The total amount of tax levy for 1962 stands at $292,944, according to figures presented by Clerk A. Doucette in the budget passed by council Monday night. Last year’s actual collection of taxes was $258,898. The actual tax levy last year was $256,015. Greater portion of the increase is in two school budgets and the deficit of last year. MPDHS requirements are close to $6,000 higher, public school is up by $6,000, and $17,000 is included in the budget to cover the deficit. 

    Official opening of Midland’s new $37,000 small boat docks will take place Friday at 7.15 p.m., Harbormaster Jack Blackburn said yesterday. He said Dr. P. B. Rynard, Simcoe East M.P. in the last Parliament, R. P. Henderson district engineer, federal Department of Public Works and F. K. McKean, district marine agent, federal Department of Transport, would be present for the ceremony. Members of Midland council and other civic organizations will also be in attendance. Following the official opening ceremony, the local and visiting officials, will take a cruise on the Haidee, Mr. Blackburn said. 

    Residents of Penetanguishene are being given the opportunity of filling out questionnaires as part of a survey toward establishing whether a low cost rental housing project would be feasible. Besides the questionnaire, Miss Shirley Allaway, a representative of the Department of Economics and Development, is in town this week talking to industrialists, clergy and welfare agents. In speaking on the project, Miss Allaway said an analysis of the survey findings will be made later. The results will determine whether or not housing will be constructed. Miss Allaway said the project, when carried out, is a partnership between federal and provincial governments and the municipality. Cost is shared 75 per cent by federal, 17.4 per cent by provincial, and the balance by the municipality. The houses will have one bedroom for every two children up to a maximum of six bedrooms. Rents are geared to the family income. Tenants will pay approximately 20 per cent of their gross earnings in rent, regardless of the size of accommodation.

    R. C. Gauthier, Midland-Penetanguishene District High School principal, advised a school board meeting last week that the drop-out situation at the school was improving. The principal told the board that in previous years the percentage of dropouts reached 12 per cent. Last year it had been cut to five per cent, which was low compared to the provincial average, he stated. 

    New boat-marking regulations aimed at reducing accidents resulting from overloading and overpowering of small pleasure boats have been announced by the Department of Transport. Effective July 1, pleasure boats 16 feet or less in length with outboard motors of 10 horsepower or more, will be required to carry special plates. The plates will state the recommended safe maximum engine power and weight capacity limit for individual craft. For two or three years manufacturers have been required to provide plates. This regulation will force home boat builders to acquire them. 

    COLDWATER — Council has instructed Clerk Chester Martin to proceed with preparation of a bylaw which will require installation of septic tanks by local residents. Last year, a motion was passed by council giving property owners two years to install septic tanks and stop the practice of dumping raw sewage into the Coldwater River. Council is of the opinion disposal systems can be installed with the exception of three or four properties on Main Street where lack of land is a problem. 

Monsignor J. M. Castex helped get the ball rolling for Penetanguishene’s new naval and military museum when he presented it with a hand-moulded five-pound cannon ball, a relic of the garrison days of 125 years previous. * * * Two days after Midland taxpayers gave their stamp of approval to a $10,000 fixed assessment for the new Ernst Leitz Canada Ltd., plant, machinery and equipment for the new firm were arriving in Midland. * * * Premier Leslie Frost announced the first major grant towards the construction of Penetanguishene’s new hospital. In addition to the provincial grant of $87,666 other grants included: federal government, $77,000; Simcoe County, $44,000; and St. Ann’s parish, Penetanguishene, $50,000. * * * Marcel Bellehumeur, as membership committee chairman of the Penetanguishene Chamber of Commerce, was heading a drive for funds and increased membership in the chamber. * * * The 664-foot S.S. James Norris, largest Canadian ship sailing the Great Lakes, was commissioned in Midland following her construction in Midland Shipyards. * * *More than 1,500 children and adults participated in the Midland District Choral Concert staged through the combined efforts of the town’s school and music teachers in Midland Arena Gardens. * * *Port McNicoll’s Community Forest got another 7,000 trees when village school children conducted their annual planting. * * * National Theatre Services Ltd., announced that Midland’s Roxy theatre manager, Al Perkins, would manage the re-opened Capitol theatre in Midland and the new drive-in theatre in Tiny Township. * * *Coldwater council set the tax rate at 50 mills, based on the reassessment on the Simcoe County plan which went into effect for the first time that year. The new rate represented an increase of 10 mills over the previous year.  

    Three prominent Midlander’s, including Mayor Charles Parker, were fined $100 each in Midland police court Monday in connection with bingos sponsored by Midland Minor Hockey Association. J. G. Hendrickson, 58, and Crawford Wilcox, 48, long-time MHA officials, pleaded guilty to charges of keeping a common gaming house at Parkside Pavilion during the six months prior to Feb. 28. OPP Const. C. D. Stanley, of the anti-gambling squad,, said the MMHA held weekly bingo games at Parkside. Const. Stanley said he saw Mr. Hendrickson selling cards when he went there the night of Feb. 27. Mr. Wilcox was not present that evening but is the co-signer for all cheques issued by the association, the court was told. Both men were very co-operative, Const. Stanley said. No evidence was offered by either at Monday’s hearing. Mr. McTurk, in asking for a nominal penalty, pointed out that the bingos were held for the benefit of minor hockey. There was no suggestion that these men received funds or personal gain. He also said that at the time four other groups were operating weekly bingos. He pointed out that Mr. Hendrickson and Mr. Wilcox, along with other MMHA officials, put in long hours every week in order to provide hockey for boys in the area.     

    The Silver Cross Women of Canada was founded at Hamilton in 1947 by widows and mothers of soldiers of the Second World War.

Whithall’s Mill located on the Wye River on the 4th concession of Tiny Township near Wyevale.  From the book “The Story of Simcoe County” produced by the Tourist and Industrial Committee of the County Council of Simcoe, author the former premier of Ontario, the Honourable Ernest C. Drury. Printed by Midland Press Limited. The negatives were held in their possession until donated to the Huronia Museum in 2006. Used again May 16, 1962, Free Press Herald front page with this caption; One of the real landmarks of Tiny Township is this old gristmill, just east of Wyebridge. A favourite fishing spot for local anglers, it has been a focal point for district farmers for many generations. 

     Four Midland boys received certificates at a Queen Scout Recognition ceremony at Barrie Central Collegiate, May 12. The certificates were presented by Air Commodore J. B. Harvey AFC, D.C., to Paul Delaney, 1st Midland Troop, and Don Edwards, Arthur Langley, and William Mackie, 3rd Midland Troop. 


Gifts of appreciation on behalf of 300 Little NHL hockey players in Penetanguishene were presented Monday night by Andy Morrison, left, to Maple Leaf player Dave Keon and trainer Bob Haggert. Announcement that Keon had been awarded the Lady Byng Memorial trophy was made the following day.

County Herald, May 18, 1962.

While a neighbor stood helplessly by, a 90-year-old nearly blind woman burned to death when flames consumed her four-room frame home on Robert Street Lane, Penetanguishene, Thursday morning. Gus Beauchamp, 86, failed in repeated attempts to scale a fence that separated the two properties in an heroic attempt to lead Mrs. Archie Capistrand to safety. Her charred body was found by firemen just inside her kitchen door.

    A new idea in the way of marinas is taking shape on the shore of Penetanguishene Bay where one of the town’s oldest manufacturing plants stood until last year. Property owned by the Breithaupt Leather Co., whose plant here was dismantled last summer, is being utilized for the new venture which will operate under the name of Baymoorings Cruise Club. Membership in the club is based on an annual fee of $50. There is also an associate membership available at $30 for persons with cruisers ordinarily based outside the area. Docks are being built at the Penetanguishene site. Facilities there will be available to non-members as well as those belonging to the club. The clubhouse itself will be located in the old Breithaupt mansion, which, although dating back to 1887 is in a remarkable state of preservation. A large boathouse used during the operating days of the tannery will be available for winter storage. The boathouse also contains a marine railway capable of lifting any size of pleasure boat out of the water. Louis Breithaupt, Jr., said yesterday, a launching ramp is also under construction in a quiet corner, where small craft may be put into the water or taken back onto trailers. 

    Martyr’s Shrine officially opened for another season Sunday. Many pilgrims and visitors are expected through the nearly five month season which closes Thanksgiving weekend. Numerous groups of school children from all over Ontario will visit the Shrine in the months of May and June, to see the religious and historic aspects of the site. National groups, some dressed in their native costumes, who have made pilgrimages to the Shrine in the past, will again, walk up the hill in procession to attend mass at the hallowed location. Some of the groups expected are the Polish. Germans, Slovaks, Slovenes, and Czechs, said Rev. J. F. McCaffrey director of the Shrine. Several groups from the United States are also expected.  

    Supporters of the vote “no’’ campaign were the victors in Wednesday’s two-question liquor plebiscite in Midland. Approximately 56.7 per cent of the 4,752 eligible voters cast ballots. The dining lounge question failed by 2.169 per cent of the 60 per cent required to pass. Licensing or cocktail bars fell 5.303 per cent short of the mark. 

    The Midland – Penetanguishene area today moved into the fifth day of a scorching heat wave which has broken several May records. And there is no sign yet of any break in the over 90 degree temperatures, as the holiday weekend draws nearer. Yesterday the thermometer soared to a sweltering 95, breaking by 15 degrees the previous high for May of 80 set in 1951.  

    Her later adventures are told in a story by Ken Lefolil entitled “The Slapstick Saga of the S.S. Tropic Sea” in the May issue of MacLean’s magazine. “The SS Tropic Sea, 507 tons wringing wet and unsteady as she goes, is the greatest freestyle floating rumor mill since the Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast.” says Lefolil in his introduction. Mutiny, starvation, gunplay and “banana republic revolution” were heard frequently in her connection, it was rumored. Documents on file in Canada that early in 1961 four Toronto men made a down payment on the 42 year old former Georgian Bay buoy tender St. Heliers, which had recently changed hands for $5,311. The new owners changed her name to Tropic Sea and registry to the Republic of Panama. She cleared Halifax June 13, 1961, bound for the Caribbean.  Lefolil flew to Jamaica last March to try and dig up the true story of the Tropic Sea. He found her moored in a rundown dockyard at Kingston. Her captain at this time was Carl S. Stewart, a naturalized Canadian who was one of a number of war orphans brought here in 1947. In the Letolil story, Stewart is described as a 30-year-old man with a well-earned ulcer. A modern cloak and dagger man. Stewart has risked his life in Honduras and Cuba. In Honduras, an assassin came at him with a machete and was later shot to death for his trouble. In Cuba, Stewart engaged in the tricky pastime of running guns for Castro and supplying information to the U.S. Coast Guard all at the same time. He has seen the inside of a Cuban jail but escaped with his life. Another of Stewart’s jobs was for the security branch of the Bahamas. He helped break up a gun and narcotics smuggling ring by posing as a gunrunner. The story of the Tropic Sea from June 6, 1961, when it picked up 250 tons of flour at Humberstone, until a bailiff placed her under admiralty arrest in Kingston, Jamaica, is too long to re-publish here. But it makes strange, and good reading and can be obtained for 15 cents at any news stand. 

    A Kingston Ontario magistrate’s decision to jail a resident of that city for operating a boat while impaired, and to suspend the accused’s right to operate a power boat for one year, should have a sobering effect on negligent boating enthusiasts. 


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 7th to 15th, 1962.

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Free Press Herald headline of May 9th, 1962. 

Damage caused by vandals at Lakeview Cemetery following a weekend rampage will likely hit the $7,000 figure, officials estimated yesterday. Thirty-two gravestones were damaged, most beyond repair, sometime Friday night or Saturday morning, cemetery board secretary Bob Bath said. Cemetery officials thought at first vandals had fired rifle bullets at the stones. It is now believed the damage was done by a hammer or similar instrument. Large chips were knocked off corners of some stones. Others were marked on the highly-polished surface. None of the marks can be removed without extensive grinding, which means new polishing and lettering, Mr. Bath said. 

   Midland taxpayers have again been given a booster shot in their tax arms by St. Andrews Hospital Board. At a meeting Monday night the board approved a motion to pay the full amount of the debenture  debt interest of $5,800 for 1962. The amount is the current interest due on $250,000 in debentures taken out by Midland to finance construction of the new hospital several years ago. 

   Superintendent of the Ontario Hospital at Penetanguishene for 12 years, Dr. William Arthur Cardwell, 72, died in Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie, Sunday. A specialist in forensic psychiatry, Dr. Cardwell headed the Penetanguishene hospital from 1948 until his retirement in June, I960. Born in Cobourg, Dr. Cardwell graduated from the University of Toronto in 1914, and enlisted a few months later in the Royal Army Medical Corps. During four years with the corps he was awarded the OBE. Dr. Cardwell practiced in Toronto following the war, joining the staff of the Ontario Hospital, Cobourg, in 1928. Four years later be moved to the hospital in Whitby, where he spent 15 years. In 1937, Dr. Cardwell went to the University of Toronto as a gold medal post-graduate student in psychology. Following his retirement in 1960, Dr. Cardwell acted as consulting psychiatrist to the Attorney – General’s Department. He also served on the Department of Reform Institutions’ Advisory Council on offenders. Surviving are his wife, the former Jessie Elizabeth Lord, two sons, William H. A. Cardwell, Windsor, and Dr. Robert John Cardwell, Midland; and one daughter, Betty D. Perry, at home. 

    In the market for car seat belts? Then first check if the belts bear the imprint SAE. This indicates that the belts meet the specifications of the Society of Automotive Engineers. SAE is the recognized seat belt standard in Canada, until the Canadian Government Specifications Board and the Canadian Standards Association issue their own standards. Canadian car drivers will soon be able to buy belts that meet, and even surpass the rigid SAE standards, made by a Midland firm who recently completed negotiations for the manufacture of the Davis Safety Seat Belts. President Gordon Moss of Canadian Name Plate Ltd., announced this week that his firm has been licensed by Davis Aircraft Products Inc., of Northport, New York, to manufacture the belt in Canada. Production will commence immediately. Terming the Davis product “the Cadillac of seat belts”, Mr. Moss said it has found wide acceptance with major airlines and automobile manufacturers in the United States. Trans-Canada Airlines also uses this belt. 

    Cruise ship S.S. North American will make regular weekly visits to Midland this summer it was announced recently by officials of the Georgian Bay Line. The luxury cruise ship will include Midland on its weekly Voyaguer-Historic cruises starting the first week in August. It will leave Chicago Saturday afternoon and make calls at Mackinac Island, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo, before docking in Midland Thursday at 3 p.m. Plans include a two and half hour stopover to allow passengers to visit the Martyrs’ Shrine and other points of interest. 

    Well-known throughout Midland, where he was a carrier with the post branch since 1954, Gordon Burtch died suddenly in St. Andrews Hospital yesterday morning. He was in his 52nd year. Mr. Burtch was stricken with a heart attack in his William Street home early Tuesday morning. Mr. Burtch, who served overseas with the Fort Garry Horse, was for a time on the caretaking staff of Midland Armory before joining the postal service. He was formerly a sergeant with the Grey and Simcoe Foresters and had served as poppy fund chairman of Branch 80 Royal Canadian Legion, for several years. Surviving are his widow, the former Jennie McConkey, a son, Jim, Midland, and two daughters, Pearl (Mrs. Bert Lacroix), Midland, and Betty (Mrs. Allan Harper), Stouffville. 

25 YEARS AGO – 1937
Plans were being made for a week of celebrations, starting July 18 to mark the silver jubilee of St. Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church,  Midland. * * * The amalgamation of the Midland and Penetanguishene intermediate and junior baseball clubs was being discussed with Jim Shaw and I. C. Sheppard, representing the respective clubs. * * * Building of a new power line from Waubaushene to Fergusonvale was commenced. The line was to carry 38,000 volts. * * * Extensive celebrations were planned for May 12 and the day proclaimed a public holiday in Midland and Penetanguishene to mark the coronation of King George the Sixth. The Free Press published a special coronation edition. * * * Work was starting on a new highway from Coldwater to Waubaushene over the Sturgeon Bay hill. * * * For the first time in the history of the United Church the Presbytery of Simcoe was held in Coldwater with Rev. J. Pickering of Barrie presiding. * * * At a conference of representatives of various organizations in Midland, it was agreed a program of town beautification should be prepared and a permanent committee appointed by council to prepare and supervise such a program. * * * Midland’s Madrigal choir, under the direction of Douglas Major, presented a variety choral concert at Midland YMCA. * * * Port McNicoll’s reforestation project got under way with the planting of 8,000 trees in Coronation Park. 

County Herald headline of May 11, 1962. 

Township property owners learned this week they will pay the same taxes as last year following a hold-the-line budget handed down Tuesday by council. It set the general rate at 9 mills and commercial levy at 11 mills for 1962, the same as last year. With an assessment of just over $5 million, each mill represents $5,000, Clerk Ralph Dalton said yesterday. MPDHS RATE UP – High school rate for 1962 will be 9.5 mills. The township will pay only 8.2 mills to the county this year, a reduction of .8 mills from last year. 

    Claiming there has been “more medical progress in the last 20 years than in the preceding 20 centuries,” Ken Sims, a representative of a Montreal pharmaceutical firm, went on to mention such “miracles of modern medicine” as penicillin, broad-spectrum antibiotics and tranquilizers. Mr. Sims was addressing members of the Penetanguishene Lions Club at their regular meeting last night, when he cited the role of the pharmaceutical industry in this achievement. He claimed the medical revolution which has taken place in the last three score years resulted in increasing the life span of Canadians by almost 10 years.  

    The new autopsy room at St. Andrews Hospital has been praised as “the best in the county” by Dr. Grant Colpitts, Barrie pathologist who serves the Midland hospital. This statement was included in a report to the St. Andrews Hospital Board this week by Alex Craig, hospital administrator. The new-room is expected to be ready for operation shortly. 

    Midland Y’s Men are again appealing for assistance for a program that has brought community-wide benefits for more than a decade. On Tuesday night, nine teams of canvassers will knock on the doors of homes lying on the west side of King Street, Midland, to raise funds for their summer playground program. It will be the club’s annual peanut sales drive. Funds raised in the project will be used to provide competent leaders and assistants for a summer recreation program that includes swimming and water safety classes, organized games, group projects, craft classes and other wholesome fun. Team captains for the drive are Charles Walton, Harold Wilcox, Bob Voorzanger, Allan James, Bill Barnett, Jack Bridges, Ross Thompson, Harold McAllen and Walter Kluck. The Y’s Men are asking citizens to give generously. 

    Midland Junior Chamber of Commerce named 13 executive officers for the 1962-63 term at a meeting held May 3 in Bourgeois Dining Room. Elected were: Arthur Ambeau, president; Bob Bates, 1st vice-president; Gerald Lalonde, 2nd vice-president; Gary Wood, secretary, and Gordon Maroney, treasurer. John Nicholson, Ronald Parker, Kenneth Mackie and Bill Mitchell, were named to a one year term as internal directors. 

    A well-known young Penetanguishene native, Lucien (Luke) Gregoire, died April 21 in Penetanguishene General Hospital after a brief illness. He was in his 34th year. Born and educated in Penetanguishene, he married Theresa Gignac here in 1950. He had been employed as a cutter at Fern Shoe Co. for over 16 years. He was a Roman Catholic and a member of the Holy Name Society. Mr. Gregoire was particularly fond of hockey, curling and bowling.  Surviving besides his wife are two sons, Larry and Peter, and one daughter, Susan, all at home. His mother, Mrs. Claire Gregoire lives in Penetanguishene along with one brother, Urbain. He also leaves four sisters, Mrs. Gerard St. Louis and Mrs. Adrien Lepage, LaTugue, Que., Mrs. Harold Robitaille, Penetanguishene and Mrs. Clement Gignac, Perkinsfield. Funeral service was held April 23 from Beausoleil’s funeral home to St. Ann’s Memorial Church where requiem mass was said by Father J. Kelly, burial was in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were Marcel Lacroix, Ronald, Philip, Louis and Norbert Desroches and Maurice Robillard. 

    An item from the January 11, 1923, Midland Argus. – The last place in the world one would expect to find a unique treasure hunt taking place is in the interior of a great grain elevator. Yet every year during the three autumn months, from September to November, when the wonderful “wheat rush’’- takes place from Western Canada, there occurs a queer treasure hunt in the huge terminal elevators at the lake port of Fort William, Ontario, where tens of millions of bushels pour in from the prairies for transshipment across the Great Lakes. From all parts of the Great Canadian west, tens of thousands of wheat laden freight oars come hurrying into Fort William, each car to be dumped in a few moments time. At the elevator the man in charge of the ‘‘cleansers” watch the golden grain as it pours through, to see what strange treasurers the cleansers will winnow from the yellow flooding tide of cereal. The most common articles to be sifted out from the grain are of various lengths and size. When it is taken into consideration that harvesters are continually using knives for cutting binder twine, it is easily understood how so many knives get mislaid, and eventually find their way into the grain. Hundreds are annually salvaged from the wheat. Bottles of liquor, and many more empty, the cleansers separate from the wheat. Probably the full ones come from tramps or smugglers, and the grain offers a handy place for hobos to throw empty ones when they have finished drinking. Paper bundles containing leftover food scraps are also common.  An odd find made recently was a side of bacon.  Hammers, saws, wrenches and other tools are fairly common. Now and then a cheap watch bobs up and less frequently a gold one. Occasionally a ring is found and often bundles of keys. Letters, bank books, un-cashed checks made their appearance more often than the average man would expect. In one case the owner of un-cashed checks worth several hundred dollars was located; the checks had traveled nearly a thousand miles in the wheat. A dead prairie chicken in a fair state of preservation once reached the terminal elevator. A cat alive, though very weak and almost suffocated came pouring out with the grain. It was revived and  adopted at the elevator. Stranger still was the arrival of a human corpse, that of a man who had been hurriedly placed on top of the wheat at a lonely way point where passenger trains did not stop in order to get him to the city. Unfortunately the word of the body’s coming was mislaid and so it was added to the list of strange finds. A cash registry, empty, and a pair of lady’s new dancing shoes with silk stockings carefully tucked in are two more articles whose presence in the wheat is particularly mysterious. How all these things got into the wheat would make a wonderfully interesting story if it were possible to trace them back. But as it is not one can only conjecture on the queer causes that led them to be there.